Self-Knowledge and Delayed Access to Self


Sometimes it seems like I'll never be able to remember everything I know about myself. What I mean is, I have an insight (e.g., reading something causes me to realize soemthing about myself) and add that new bit of information to the general store of self-knowledge I have. But then in the course of daily life something happens. And do I automatically recall the relevant bits of all that accumulated knowledge? Alas, no.

For example. Earlier today I was corresponding with an internet friend. I had told her about the big anger I felt towards N when I came home and found she had substituted a new chair for one of the old chairs in my living room, and she responded by talking about her own experiences with anger and a particular technique she wants to use when trying to get her POV across to someone who isn't willing to hear her.

Not until I was writing back to her again did I suddenly remember something I learned about myself some time ago. Here is what I wrote to her:

One problem I have is that it takes me quite a while to notice and then identify my emotions. Usually I need to go off by myself for a while in order to do the noticing and identifying. The reason I was "able" to explode with immediate anger when I got home and discovered N's chair in the living room is that she wasn't there. If there's any person around, I am too busy "running my social interface" (maintaining my persona of non-autistic "normality") to have time/energy/mind available for searching out and analyzing my own emotions.

That's something I should try to explain to N. She wonders why I don't "stand up for myself" more consistently -- why I end up complaining after-the-fact that she has run right over me again. Well, at least one major piece of the reason is that my intellect and my emotions are not all-of-a-piece,the way hers are. She always knows what she's feeling. Her emotonal reactions are as instantaneously clear to her as her thoughts are. For me that's just not the case.



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